Saudi Arabia's crown prince blames Iran for oil tanker attacks | Eurasia Diary -

21 October, Monday

Saudi Arabia's crown prince blames Iran for oil tanker attacks

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Saudi Arabia's crown prince has blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and called for a "decisive stance" against Tehran.

Mohammed bin Salman said his country doesn't want war - but won't hesitate to confront threats.

His comments were the first since tensions were heightened in the region over the attacks on two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

The US has blamed Iran, and the UK has said it is "almost certain" that Tehran is behind the attacks.

Britain's ambassador to Iran has said he requested an urgent meeting with the country's foreign ministry.

Iran has also been accused of being behind the 12 May attacks on four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, two of which belonged to Saudi Arabia.

The crown prince said the incidents "confirm the importance of our demands of the international community to take a decisive stance" against Iran's behaviour.

In an interview with Arabic newspaper Asharq al Awsat, he said: "The kingdom does not seek war in the region, but we will not hesitate to deal with any threat to our people, sovereignty and vital interests."

Prince Mohammed accused Iran of using militias to destabilise the region and touted US-Saudi relations as "essential to achieving regional security and stability".

The prince, who is also defence minister in Saudi Arabia, added: "The problem is in Tehran and not anywhere else.

"Iran is always the party that's escalating in the region, carrying out terrorist attacks and criminal attacks either directly or through its militias."

The US alleges Iran used limpet mines to target the tankers, with American officials citing black and white footage they have captured which they say shows Iranian Revolutionary Guards troops removing an unexploded mine from the Kokuka Courageous.

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